1. Readers – Seems like a no-brainer but the reason we all get into writing is we feel we have a story to tell. The top thing an author needs is people to read their work. So, pick up my book. Or any book, for that matter. Doesn’t matter if you buy it, borrow it, or download it during a free promotion. If the subject matter isn’t your thing (and how do you know, unless you read it?) then recommend it to someone else. Whether you read one book a year or 25, every author needs a reader.
2. Reviews – Aside from peeking at the first few pages and/or judging a book by its cover, most people decide on whether or not to purchase based on reviews–both quantity and quality. Lots of readers also check to see how many reviews a person has posted, so if you’ve read more than one good book (or you read a HORRIBLE one) it’s to your credit to rate and write about it. Reviews on Amazon, or reader sites like Goodreads (are you a member?) are critical. Authors do read them, and often we make revisions based on what the feedback says. FYI- This is especially important to indie published authors, because many professional review publications will not read independent or small press published books. And as anyone who has read the Wall Street Journal lately can tell you, indie publishing is on the rise but admittedly difficult (see linked article here and here).
3. Promoters – Promotion is the great, dirty word of publishing. Most authors are fairly shy and introverted. We rely on others to talk about us, our work, and to spread the word if our work was appreciated. Anyone who has seen the movie Sideways gets a pretty good glimpse of what it’s like to be an author. We all struggle with thinking our work is the ‘best thing ever written’ and believing it to be utter crap. So, we need others to help boost our visibility. The Rule of Seven is an old marketing adage– a prospect needs to see or hear your marketing message at least SEVEN times before they take action and buy from you. Tell your friends, coworkers, hairdresser…when someone asks how things are going, you can respond with “My friend just published a book last month” or “I just finished an awesome book!” You never know where you will find a fan. Chances are word of mouth is like that old Wella shampoo commercial–the one where you tell five people and they tell five people and so on…and so on…and…you get the picture.